Aquaculture has grown rapidly in Asia in the past three decades. The main impetus for the industry's surge is the stagnant wild fish catch, which has leveled off at a little above 80 million tons since the 1980s. Since then, aquaculture has been supplying the human consumption of more than 100 million tons of seafood. Asia dominates global aquaculture production, but the aquaculture industry is facing environmental sustainability concerns. Freshwater fish and shrimp are two major forms of aquaculture in Asia.

The increase of fish production from inland aquaculture has reduced fish prices in domestic markets, benefiting poor consumers in Asia. The employment generated in aquaculture is substantial and rising, providing more work for women than the male-dominated wild capture fisheries. Shrimp farming became widespread after technological innovation intensified the industry in the 1980s. Private actors, notably conglomerates in Japan and Thailand, played important roles in the growth of shrimp aquaculture in Asian countries. - blog.adb.org/blogs

A version of this article appears in the print on January 7, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.